About us

Peter Pan statue in front of GOSH


The Friends of the Children of Great Ormond Street Library provides a wealth of information and training for staff and students at the Institute of Child Health (ICH) and for staff of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The Library has existed in some form since ICH was established in 1945. Great Ormond Street Hospital opened in 1852 and was the first children's hospital in the world. Today it is still one of the world's foremost children's hospitals and the Institute, which is effectively its “Medical School”, undertakes research into diseases of childhood. The Library was originally based at GOSH but it was relocated when the ICH main building was opened in the early 1960s. In 1996, funding was made available to refurbish and extend the Library and a further extension to the reading room was provided in 2002. The Reading Room was redesigned and refurbished in 2009. In January of the same year the Library merged with UCL Library Services.

Opening hours

The library is staffed 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday. ICH and GOSH card holders are granted out of hours access from 8am to 10.45pm, 7 days a week.



Full membership is open to all staff of ICH and GOSH and to UCL staff and students and to students and visitors attached to the Institute and Hospital for a period of at least 3 months. Visitors for less than 3 months are issued with ‘Reference only’ cards and are not entitled to borrow books.

ICH and UCL staff and students need their UCL ID badge in order to use the Library.

GOSH staff need to fill in a registration form (available from the Issue Desk) and show proof of address (i.e. driving licence, utility bill, bank statement) together with their GOSH photo-ID badge to join and then use the Library.

Staff and students who leave the Institute and Hospital are not entitled to borrow from the Library and are required to return their cards when they leave. 

Out of hours access

Staff and postgraduate students who are members of the library and who work at ICH or GOSH can obtain access to the library at any time during the normal ICH opening hours, which are currently Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 22:45

Please note that if you intend to work in the library after 21:00 hours you must sign in at the ICH front reception desk so that security staff are aware you are in the building.

To access to the library outside staffed hours, your photo-ID badge must be encoded at the ICH reception desk between 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00 during the week. This may only be done after you have registered to join the library.

Disabled access & special requirements

The Library is accessible for disabled persons from Monday to Friday from 10.00am to 5.00pm (lift access to the second floor and wheelchair access into the Library). Disabled visitors should contact the library prior to their visit.

UCL Library Services also offers a range of other facilities for disabled users which are listed separately.

Arrangement of the Library

The Library is situated on the second floor of the Institute building and is divided into two main spaces. The Reading Room is a quiet study area and holds the main nursing and paediatric collection of the Library. The Global Health and Development Collection, holds a variety of resources about international health and disability. These include books, journals, manuals, reports, posters, CD-ROMs, videos, games and other visual aids. Many materials are from less developed countries and the Collection includes both published and unpublished literature not readily available elsewhere in the UK

Library Website & Catalogue

Peter Pan statue in front of GOSH

Items held in the Library are listed on the UCL Explore web catalogue

Books are shelved in classified order in the Reading Room and in the Global Health and Development Collection. The Library website which includes links to the databases, electronic journals is at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ich/services/library/homepage

A full list of other Libraries catalogues can be found here together with updated electronic resources for NHS staff and the whole range of services provided by the Library. There is also a blog to keep all users up to date with all the Library news.

‘Moncrieff’, ‘Sandifer’, ‘Still’, ‘West’ and ‘Office’ locations

These locations refer to our historical collections which are reference only. They are named after Sir Alan Moncrieff (1901-1971), Emeritus Professor of Child Health at the University College London; Paul Harmer Sandifer (1908-64), Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital; Sir George Frederick Still (1868-1941), first Professor of Britain’s children’s diseases and the outstanding British paediatrician of his day and Charles West (1816-1989), pioneer of English paediatrics and founder of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Books in these special sections have no classmark on them and can be identified in the UCL Library Catalogue as CHILD HEALTH + location + first three letters of author’s surname. For example, Alexander Dingwali’s “Diet in Infancy” will have the classmark CHILD HEALTH SANDIFER DIN in the UCL Library Catalogue and it will be located in the Sandifer cabinet.

MSc and PhD theses

The library holds a certain number of MSc theses for some CIHD taught postgraduate programmes. All other ICH theses (i.e. PhD) are held in the UCL Wickford Store: they can be retrieved and consulted by submitting an online Store Request Form on the UCL “eUCLid” web catalogue. This material is for reference use within the Library and it cannot be borrowed.

Quick Reference

The Quick Reference collection is opposite the Issue Desk. It includes dictionaries, directories, pharmacopoeias and other quick reference items are available for reference only.


Bleeps can be answered on the internal telephones, situated by the Library entrance and adjacent to the photocopiers (ext. 2100). A public telephone is available on the basement level, adjacent to the Refectory.

Library rules

The Library rules are displayed on the Library notice board and online at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/about/strategies-policies/regs

All readers are expected to observe them.

Please do not eat, drink or smoke in the Library.

Please use the Reading Room area for quiet study.